Fazer

Crafting a consumer-oriented growth strategy for Fazer Bakeries in Finland

Despite being a market leader in Finland, Fazer Bakeries was impacted by declining consumption and decreasing market share. This situation demanded a transformation and a new strategy with a truly consumer-oriented emphasis. Marketing Clinic was instrumental in shaping it.

The Outcome

The 6-month-long project began with an in-depth consumer and market analysis. Based on it, a tailor-made growth strategy was created and organizational structures and processes were adjusted as needed. The project led to a transformation of Fazer Bakeries Finland into a truly consumer-oriented organization. The new strategy also led Fazer Bakeries to utilize the power of its brands more thoroughly in Finland.

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This process drove us to become a more consumer-oriented organization across all employee levels. We were able to define a crystal-clear direction and purpose that everybody believed in.

A market leader needs to lead the market

Over the last few years, Fazer Bakeries Finland faced many market challenges, including decreased sales volumes and more intense competition. During this time, the company primarily focused on improving its productivity, while overlooking evolving customer needs. This situation required Fazer Bakeries to pursue a more consumer-oriented strategy and a product portfolio to promote profitable growth in Finland. For this, the brand turned to Marketing Clinic.

“One of the main reasons for partnering with Marketing Clinic was their solid know-how and expertise in the food and retail business, especially in Finland”, explains Markus Hellström, Managing Director of Fazer Bakeries Finland.

Deep consumer insight enabled finding growth

 The 6-month-long project consisted of several phases. It began with an in-depth consumer and market analysis conducted by Marketing Clinic together with Fazer’s insight team.

“The current state analysis was one of the most essential parts of the project. We got a comprehensive view of the market development and our performance overall and within various product categories. This helped us to establish some common ground and mutual understanding of where we were. This was the first critical step towards our development of a more consumer-oriented approach — in the management team as well as across the whole organization”, says Tiina Sell, Commercial Development Director at Fazer Bakeries, who acted as Fazer’s Project Manager in the strategy project.

“We always knew we had the relevant customer and market data. But during this project, we finally learned how to utilize it to its fullest — and we saw where we had previously failed to make the most of our data. The current state analysis provided a fact-based view of the situation and growth possibilities. This was a real eye-opener for us”, Markus Hellström admits.

A thoroughly engaging process

 All of Fazer Bakeries Finland’s management was active in the project, participating in meetings and workshops prepared and facilitated by Marketing Clinic’s team. According to Hellström, this active management engagement was a key part of making the required changes happen.

“In a way, the whole management team began to fully realize what it means for us to become a more consumer-oriented organization. We also made internal communications an essential part of this project to create commitment and excitement among all relevant internal stakeholders”, Hellström continues.

A winning strategy

The newly created growth strategy gave Fazer Bakeries Finland an inspiring transformational purpose, prioritized growth areas based on consumption occasions and needs, renewed the product portfolio and newly identified must-win battles to guide implementation. Marketing Clinic Engage was also thoroughly involved, contributing to the strategy being implemented by producing video and visualizations that convey key brand messages.

Perhaps the most significant outcome of the project was the transformation of Fazer Bakeries Finland from a production-oriented organization into a truly consumer-oriented one. The new strategy also helped Fazer Bakeries to utilize the power of its already renowned and beloved brands more thoroughly in Finland.

”Companies that are looking to take on similar projects should definitely approach Marketing Clinic for help. Their consistent and systematic approach really took us forward in our strategy development. And the team involved in this project was top notch — they brought in a necessary outside perspective, challenged us in constructive ways and continually reminding us to consider the consumer point-of-view”, Hellström concludes.

Tiina Sell, Fazer Bakery, Erika Kavén and Mika Rytkönen, Marketing Clinic, Markus Hellström, Fazer Bakery and Catharina Stackelberg, Marketing Clinic.